The Half-Mature Monster on Holiday

Nature-Summer-WeirdoI work at a school and during summer break calm descends upon the world. Meaning I have more freedom to take vacation days and get home earlier. Before breaks, I spend a lot of time dreaming up all of the things I’ll finally do–go on hikes every day, wake up early and write, read stacks of books, hang out with real human beings.

But then my time off finally comes and once the writing’s done and my Nespresso’s gone cold, I find myself looking ahead at the gray sprawl of time with unease. Distrust.

Okay, I should note that the writing’s never done–by “done” I mean when weird line squiggles and fjifeifejeef lousy up the blank page instead of words. When I’m fed up and begin to wonder if there’s even any purpose to ANYTHING.

With my first book in the far-as-I-can-take-it-for-now pile, bequeathed to the nameless gods for judgment, I’ve been trying to find all sorts of ways to keep myself occupied :coughsanecough:. I’ve taken up more freelance work, started booktubing, inked some bad doodles, hobby gorged under the guise of professional development, and now I’m working on a second book…

This isn’t a sequel or anything like that, it’s a completely new story with all new characters for a different age range. It may seem odd, like I’ve given up on my first book, but I haven’t I swear. Still, I’m not the type who can twiddle her thumbs while waiting and I’m sure that’s not the done thing anyway.

At that LA Times Festival of Books I went to Leigh Bardugo (author of The Grisha trilogy) advised the aging YA panel audience to work on something unrelated while you query. And it was like I’d been given permission to step away from this being I’d put every ounce of myself into; that I’d worked up from the cellular level using an insecure science that leans heavily on the Delete key.

Writing books is like magic. You spend countless hours working on this thing and then not much happens and then you start over again. See? Magic.

I don’t mean that don’t listen to me. Anyway, I’m determined to have some capers both on and off the page. I’m probably not going to hike every day (who even does that?). But I am hiking with a human being tomorrow. And my dishes are washed. Hey maybe I’ll spend the rest of the summer trying to turn into an adult only to reach fall before I’m fully cooked and instead become some horrible half-mature monster. Or maybe I’ll just eat at more restaurants and give this shiny new book some legs. Anything can happen when you have a little time.

Star Wars Cookies & Judy Blume…Wha?

Hey look what I got!

I’m mostly excited because as a condition of receiving these cookie cutters a coworker never got around to using, I have to bring in a batch of cookies. So I guess I’m just excited about eating cookies…

As if life couldn’t get any better, I got to see Judy Blume in conversation and she signed my copy of, In the Unlikely Event, her new book (and possibly her last). It was the second time I’d heard her speak; it’s always a pleasure.  You’ll be hearing more about the writing aspect of that convo here soon, and about my related, bookish thoughts on Book Riot, where I’m now a contributor!

Until then.

Random Updates from Random Me

Well well well. We meet again.

Non-Fic. I thought I would check in with some updates, starting with the news that I’m writing non-fiction again. Not exclusively, mind you. But I have missed that scene and I’m the type of person who levels up better while under pressure. That’s not an invitation, oh mystical Fates, but…yeah. As luck would have it, I was offered a great opportunity to do more food writing, so here you are, my first contribution to Men’s Journal:

Cinco de Cocktail….

Cinco-de-CocktailFic. And then there’s THE BOOK. I’m getting things done. Trust. The process of flinging it out into the world at this stage is boring so I’ll spare you. Okay, it’s not boring…I’m just oddly hesitant to blab about it. I might be living in a perpetual state of breath-holding. It’s hard to speak under these conditions.

I’m also writing short stories again, having been stuck under an editing rock for so long. I don’t sleep.

Reading. At the moment I’m reading Foundation by Asimov. Hitting up them classics. And enjoying it so far. Next I’m determined to get to Pratchett’s Hogfather at last. I’m actually audiobooking Foundation and physically reading Birds of America by Lorrie Moore. I fear genre insulation.

Stuff. In my spare time, I doodle and take long walks on the beach while trying to avoid the sea monsters because I only take long walks on the beach in my frightfully vivid dreams.